Fewer Filipinos went hungry in first quarter of 2019
Fewer Filipino families nationwide, including in Metro Manila, experienced hunger in the first quarter of 2019, according to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
The noncommissioned survey conducted from March 28 to 31 found 9.5 percent of respondents, or about 2.3 million families, saying they experienced involuntary hunger at least once between January and March this year, down from the 10.5 percent or 2.4 million families recorded in the last quarter of 2018.
Across geographical areas, quarterly hunger dropped by 6.6 points in Metro Manila (11.7 percent or an estimated 387,000 families in March from 18.3 percent in December). It was the first time in four consecutive quarters that there was a decrease in hunger incidence in the metropolis, which rose by a total of 12.3 points throughout the four quarters of 2018.
SWS asked 1,440 adults if their families had experienced hunger and did not have anything to eat, and if they had experienced it “once,” “a few times,” “often,” or “always.”
Experiencing hunger “only once” or a “few times” is classified as moderate hunger, while experiencing hunger “often” or “always” is classified as severe hunger.
Nationwide, those who said they experienced “moderate hunger” decreased to 8.1 percent (2 million families) in March from 8.9 percent in December, while the number of those who experienced “severe hunger” declined to 1.3 percent (327,000 families) from 1.5 percent.
Quarterly hunger hardly moved in Luzon outside Metro Manila (10.3 percent or 1.1 million families from 9.7 percent) and in the Visayas (10 percent or 472,000 families from 9.2 percent).
In Mindanao, quarterly hunger fell by 2.2 points in March to 6.1 percent or 345,000 families from 8.3 percent in December.
The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,440 respondents and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus 2.6 percentage points for national percentage.
Malacañang said on Thursday the SWS survey results showed the public was feeling the impact of Duterte’s antipoverty measures.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President’s “sincere efforts in addressing soaring prices and running a bureaucracy that efficiently delivers basic services … are beginning to bear fruits and [are] now being felt by our countrymen.”